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“My work is abstract and graphic
is obsessive and peaceful
is disciplined and fragile”

Ana Catalina Vicuña

Surprise was the first impression I felt when I watched this group of watercolors paintings. I was astonished by her poetical methodology, her obsession, the common structure of each one of the aquarelles, the idea of the grid work, the freshness and the maturity of the outcome, the beauty that flows from the finished works.

I perceived architecture and light. At first, and during several months, I visualized them from a vertical point of view; afterwards I realized that they had been planned horizontally. This was irrelevant, I think. They work either way. It is a concrete and perfect abstraction, it has no importance whatsoever. As well, the subtlety of the grid’s color composition is the same, the light, the emptiness, the whole, the variety and the complexity of the total is the same.

I still feel astonished, a feeling that does not show with a Brice Marden’s, Agnes Martin’s, Sol Lewitt’s not even a Mondrian’s grid, where the position is one. What happens then? Is it close to a design? It is not that either. This is not a design; it is the inhabiting of full and empty spaces and the construction of a whole in each one of them. It is an open and sensible total. It does have a common referent with my way of composing, being it the repetition of an element, in this particular case, a rectangle inside a rectangle.

I feel a common soul in this sense. There exists an evocative repetitive system were each space, though identical with the adjacent one, is felt or read differently because of the color contained, and if each space is perceived somehow distinct, it is due to the way it contains the liquid color. In her case, such repetition is strict, logical, relentless, restricted, obsessive, straightforward and not at all tentative. The grid scheme is a commitment self-imposed; the liveliness is given by the content in each space of the grid, the color applied, the weight, the temperature, the transparency. Additionally, all of these semi-individuals together construct a dynamic and pulsating whole, a whole that evolves.

Some watercolors are fulfilled and close to humanity. Others privilege the vacuity and, as her generation is most inserted, are closer to technology. She makes visible a magical perception over an existent composition and allows us to see it as Leonardo did, when he imagined some devices that were premonitory for a becoming future reality. In both cases it has to do with something that already exists but we just do not see because it rests on structures invisible to the minds eye. This is what makes it different from the design. Her system is rational, but it is only meant as a way to order a wide, sensible, erratic, subtle and ambiguous spectrum of spiritual meanings which are not evident, though felt; and that is how, according to her own explanation, they were born and remain.

Though they form a horizontal plane, such spaces are ahead and behind. There is an enormous depth within. Such profundity is the spiritual and psychological axe of her artistic expression. Light makes the dynamic become disturbing, it produces some emptiness, and it even generates inner movements that the eye can not voluntarily stop.

I can describe this collection as a mesmerizing, accomplished and complete work. A closed search, full of enigmas, as can only be found in great art.

Francisca Sutil


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